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The UK has revived its plans for net zero by submitting an updated climate action plan to the UN

The UK government today submitted an updated national climate action plan to the United Nations in support of the Paris Agreement, offering more details on how it plans to meet its landmark 2030 decarbonisation target ahead of the upcoming COP27 climate summit in Egypt this in autumn.

A National Climate Plan – or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in UN jargon – is a requirement of all signatories to the Paris Agreement, which is intended to encourage countries to accelerate efforts to reduce emissions in line with the agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5. C or “well below” 2C.

Currently, the decarbonisation commitments made in the NDCs fall far short of what scientists call for limiting global warming to 1.5C, and countries are therefore under pressure to meet much more ambitious national climate plans, in particular with more robust emissions reductions in the near term. goals for 2030.

The UK government has already unveiled an NDC with new 2030 decarbonisation targets ahead of last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, pledging to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to at least 68 per cent below 1990 levels by the end of the decade.

But the Glasgow Climate Pact, which was agreed by almost 200 countries after extensive, rich negotiations at COP26, stipulates that countries must review their NDCs again in 2022 before the COP27 summit to try to bring them in line with 1.5C. heating trajectory.

Today’s presentation of the updated NDC therefore fulfills this task for the UK and means that the climate plan can be included in the UN’s upcoming annual assessment of the action plans underpinning the Paris Agreement, which is expected to be published next month to help inform the negotiations at COP27.

Announcing the UK’s revised NDC in a speech to Parliament yesterday, Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility Secretary Lord Callanan said the UK’s National Climate Plan made a “fair and ambitious contribution to global action on climate change”.

“In revising the UK’s NDC, the Government considered a number of factors, including the latest available science, expectations in the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact, the UK’s existing Net Zero 2050 commitment and energy security, as well as advice and evidence from the Committee on Climate Change and others independent commentators,” he said.

Lord Callanan explained that the NDC had been strengthened in several key areas, namely “more comprehensive” clarification of how the UK plans to meet its decarbonisation target by 2030 and a more detailed explanation of how the UK’s overseas territories and Crown Dependencies included in the plan.

Moreover, he said the new NDC now includes “more detail on upskilling, gender, clean skills, community participation, Just Transition and how the UK supports other countries in delivering their NDCs”.

“The UK’s NDC envisages the fastest rate of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2030 of any major economy and is on track to net zero by 2050,” said Lord Callanan. “The Government is committed to achieving net zero by 2050 and looks forward to a review led by Chris Skidmore to ensure this is delivered in the interests of business and growth.”

Back in June, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said in its annual progress report to the UK Parliament that the current NDC is “ambitious and in line with the Paris Agreement” and, if achieved, would reduce CO2 emissions by 55 per cent between 2020 and 2020. . and 2030, except for international aviation.

This would provide a deeper level of decarbonisation than the global average reduction of 45 per cent over the same period, which scientists estimate is needed to keep the world on a 1.5C trajectory, the CCC notes.

However, to achieve this, the UK requires “earlier and faster deployment of low-carbon solutions” than would be the case under a global trajectory of 1.5C this decade, the CCC said, and it continues to raise significant concerns about supply gaps and policies that underpins the government’s Net Zero strategy.

The government was due to respond to the CCC’s latest progress report by the end of this year, but in an unusual move yesterday he published a regulatory document postpone its legal obligation to respond until the end of March next year, giving it another six months to consider its response.

The new deadline of March 31, 2023, coincides with the deadline set by the Supreme Court for the government to submit a revised version of its Net Zero strategy, which the court found unlawful under the Climate Change Act because it did not detail enough how the targets would be met.

As a result, it appears the government will publish not only its detailed response to the CCC’s assessment of zero progress, but also a new, more detailed Net Zero Strategy by March 31 next year.

Environmental groups and green businesses and investors will be closely watching how the government plans to meet its UK net zero commitments with controversial plans for new fracking and oil and gas projects in the North Sea announced this week.

https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4056879/uk-reasserts-net-zero-plans-submission-updated-climate-action-plan The UK has revived its plans for net zero by submitting an updated climate action plan to the UN

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